I started dismantling the Xmas tree yesterday afternoon and that makes me a little sad. Neither M nor I are "yay! Christmas!" kind of people, but the tree has always been our favorite part, particularly when we started to see it as a visual reminder that "life endures, and longer, warmer, better days are inevitably ahead."
Part of me wants to shed the tree, wipe clean any remnant of 2009 and move forward full on into the new year. Which, by the way, I have already decided is the "Year of m." But part of me seems physically unable to close the lids, pull down the lights and wrap tissue paper around the girls' ornaments.
That part of me realized yesterday that in a parallel world, they would be here, and we would soon be getting ready for their first birthday. Two girls. Two daughters. Soon turning one.
I hate those realizations. The ones that smack you in the head like a loose wet branch as you walk along, one foot in front of the other, face down, instead of looking forward, like you should be. Like I should be.
Because there is so, so much promise in this new year, I can barely stand to talk about it for fear of jinxing a single thing.
My mom asked me "what's new" yesterday afternoon and I filled that conversation with little things, walking around the big things a'brewing. Each for a number of reasons. But even the "filler" (better times at my job, finding a therapist that feels like a good fit for me and M. - and actually going - showing off the scabs on my knuckles from hitting the heavy bag) got her (and then me) excited.
Long story short, I think 2010 is going to be an eventful year. I am willing it so.
But if there is one thing this adventure has taught us, there are things that have nothing to do with will, will power or even desire. There are some things that are completely out of one's control. And for a classic type A, honor student, overachiever, that lesson is a damn hard one to learn.
But there are other things that are completely and totally within my power. So while we wait for other things to come into place, there is time to focus on those resolutions:
M and I have been hitting the gym at least 3 times a week and exercising a little more restraint with the evening beverages. Fried food has been eliminated. Consumption of meat at a minimum and only when we know where it came from (i.e. from our favorite butcher). Ideally 30 lbs. would be shed this year. But that's not really the goal. The goal is to have a body I am proud of.
I've mentioned our therapist a few times now, and while I don't see her being a permanent structure in our life, I do see her as very important for us right now. Our initial visit with her got us through the holiday season and set some big things in motion. So much so that we joked about being slightly apprehensive about the second one - what's going to happen next?? That visit left us thinking hard about relationships outside of our own that we are struggling with. We are still chewing on the conversation. We'll see where we take it. And we will continue to see her. For as long as it takes. Because we want to, we need to, continue the process of healing.
Had I written resolutions a few months ago, "to have a new job" probably would have topped the list. But after exploring some other options, having a "come to Jesus" meeting with my boss, and really thinking through what I want, what I want is to be happy with the thing I do to make money. I want to feel like my skills and education are fully utilized (and appreciated) and that there is motion and momentum in my career. So, to that end, I've decided to try to earn a CAE (certified association executive) this year, and to continue having honest conversations with my employer about things that I think could be different/better/improved. In short, I am going to start acting like the director I know I should be.
Now we get to the hard stuff. The goals that are harder to define, harder to measure, harder to do:
- to show more patience and compassion - to hear the words that were meant, not necessarily the ones that were said.
- to pay attention to friends and their needs, not just how they respond to mine.
- to minimize envy.
I was recalling my reunion and follow up phone call with my birth father to a friend of ours the other night and he sat quietly for a minute. And then said, "dude, did you say that shit out loud?" Yes. "Don't you think you were a little harsh?" Probably. "Well, what are you going to do next? Is this how it ends?" (crickets) I'm not sure. And I'm not. But it doesn't feel good where things are. So I think I need to think that through a little longer. I can't break into someone's life, fuck with his reality (oh that girl you never thought you would meet, well here she is and p.s. she doesn't really like you) and then disappear into the sunset. Some things need fixed here. Or at least mended. It seems we may have the topic for session #3 lined up.
And while we're there, I might confess what a heavy, heavy weight is on my heart when I think about a person I love that I am avoiding. Allegedly for my own self-preservation. She is pregnant. And joyful. And it is killing me. Like no other pregnancy before. She has never been anything other than supportive to us - in pregnancy, in sorrow, in trying to be joyful again. She loves us. I love her. But the thought of seeing her right now makes me shrivel and want to cry. So I dream of her. And I dream of telling her all the things I want to say in person. I contemplate giving her my maternity clothes, then weep at the thought of seeing her in them. I cannot imagine not having this person in my life, but I cannot cope with the emotions flooding me right now.
And this all feels so stereotypical and dramatic and I bet if I read this in another blog I would be rolling my eyes over it right the hell now. But all I know is this pregnancy is affecting me like no other, perhaps because the doors of any future possibility of my own are sealing so firmly shut. I know I am not being the friend I want to be right now. I know my avoidance is hurting me more than anyone else. I know that she is patiently respecting my absence and will probably not say a word until I initiate contact. But when will that be?
This is a beautiful post. I can't even pinpoint what it is exactly, but it seems hopeful and honest without being self-flagellating. Your goals for the year are so closely aligned to mine. I have felt already like I failed with the compassion, envy and patience, but every day is I try to just do better than the day before. Most of the time, those qualities are ones I need to apply to myself (except the envy. I don't envy myself much.) I have missed your words. XO
I also was struck by the beauty in this post.
As a fellow honors student/overachiever type, I too am working on the lesson of things being outside of one's control. I am inspired by all that you are setting forth to achieve within your sphere of control while being honest about how hard that can be. Kudos to you for setting out to sort our your heart and body, career and soul, and to even think about mending things with your birth father just says how much you are taking 2010 on.
And as for your friend, your joyful lucky friend, there is no eye rolling here. You can't always predict which things... well I was going to say which things press your buttons but for me the analogy is something more like hitting a resonant frequency. Once I'm exposed to something gets my joy/sorrow ringing inside it is a mighty powerful thing. No answers here, but definitely no eye rolling.
Thinking of ya and if there is anything I can do to support your goals and dreams this year, just holler. I would love nothing more than for 2010 to be amazing for you.
You have to take care of you, and I am sure that your friend understands that. It's not easy seeing pregnant women, especially if they are close to you, then it's even harder because (for me) I wanted so badly to be happy for them, but, when I was stilling trying to get pregnant myself, it just hurt so incredibly much to be so close to something that I knew in my heart would never happen.
If that makes sense at all.
Its weird, once I totally fully 100% accepted that I would never ever ever be pregnant(but that didn't mean that I couldn't have children) my life got a whole lot happier and I could breathe again.
Honestly? this was me last year. only without the positive resolutions.
My sister got pregnant in October or November. Her first cycle back after her loss of twins at 18 wks. She wasn't joyfully pregnant. I could talk about it, a little, with her. But.
I told her I would likely not be able to see her or the baby for a while after its birth. She *totally* understood. But, I think, only because she had been there.
It takes a lot to articulate what you did here. Courage. Strength.
Abiding here with you.
I just realized I did not say, that I hated myself for not being able to be there. That I was happy, so happy, for her, but I could not be there with her.
Wishing you peace in the coming year.
Be gentle with yourself about your friend, if, indeed, you are not already.
I had an announcement close to me recently, and I, even with all the time and healing under my belt, even though it's been so long since I wanted to pursue pregnancy -- I had feelings to deal with.
I'm glad you are revisiting the situation with your birth father, even if it's just in your own mind.
Wishing you a year of clarity and release. Which will pave the way for whatever's next...
I get the overachiever stuff in spades. I spent so long thinking I could make my mind do just about anything through sheer force of will. When I realized I couldn't say the same for my body, it stopped me cold.
What beautiful resolutions.
It sounds like you are in a very good place, and I'm happy to hear that.
BTW, if she is a true friend, she will be there when you're ready to see her again.
Glad to see you writing again. I need to work on doing the same :) You've set some wonderful goals for yourself - and reminded me of some important things in the meantime! But honey - don't be too hard on yourself, okay? One day, one step, at a time.
I am new to BlogHer and I am looking through the infertility blogs on there, I absolutely love your blog!!! Praying for you!
I missed your beautiful words while you were away. I think your goals are within reach...and I'm confident that you can accomplish what you've set out to do.
One of my best friends became pregnant with her 5th last year. They waited 4 months to tell us, well they told my husband...and I waited another 2 before I could call her...and another 1 before I managed to see her. I visited her at the hospital the day after she gave birth and even though I was holding my breath the whole time, I was okay. Your experience with IF/Loss is so very, very different than mine and incomparable. But like my friend, yours will (and does, I'm sure) understand. And she'll be there when you're ready.
So glad you're back to posting.
Sometimes the people we love the most can hurt us the most too...not intentionally of course. We all deal with envy though. And these loves of ours are right there, up in our space, in our hearts. It just makes sense that it would hurt more than hearing about a stranger's pregnancy.
I'm hoping you find some peace about it and that your friendship doesn't dissolve over this.
So much going on in your head and your life right now. Loss like yours can shake the very foundation of your life and the way you see it. I hope all of this brings a renewed you.
My sister - who was as supportive as anyone during our IF and loss - got pregnant just 4 months after Ernest died. At first I tried to be supportive - I commiserated with her morning sickness, we shared pregnancy stories and I pretended it didn't matter that our child died.
Then she started showing more and more and one day she complained about how the baby moving had kept her up all night. I then realized how it was killing me and after that I explained how I couldn't support her right now. After that, we only talked on the phone and almost always avoided any pregnancy talk. I didn't see her kid until he was many months old. I know it was hard on her, but it was all I could do at the time. I think she understood. I think your friend will to.
Peace to you.
Doesn't it suck to be trying so hard to be the person you want to me and yet still be so overwhelmed by feelings and reactions that can't quite be controlled? I'm sorry that you're struggling, but think you're so strong and wise for making all of these positive changes in your life. Hugs to you.
so random that i found your post. I was doing a google search looking to find information about a baby wall ornament my friend gave me when my husband and I were on our adoption journey, (after failed IVF attempts). I just lost that friend to cancer last night and i am now obsessing to remember what she told me about this ornament... Anyway, don't give up hope. I am sorry to hear of your losses. The holidays are hard. Motherhood is worth hard and long journeys that take us where we never imagined we'd be. Our daughter just turned 3. We joined with her when she was just 2 days old on January 20 after a particularly hard Christmas. AGAIN, i know this is random, but if you ever want to talk adoption, email@example.com
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